The quest for the perfect game icon

31 May 2016 Nikolaos Chatzigeorgiadis

A game icon is a very important part of a mobile game.

In today’s overcrowded mobile gaming marketplaces having a good / bad game icon can make the difference between success or failure.

Why is a game icon so important? The answer is simple. If you do not want, or you cannot spend a fortune in user acquisition/advertising, then the organic traffic from the store listing is your best friend.

And here is where your game icon plays the biggest role. It is your very first chance (and probably the last) to grab the attention of the player, and hopefully, convert that view to an installation.

It has to be interesting enough for the user to tap on it! Always taking into consideration, of course, your target audience. You cannot go with a fully colored and cute graphics icon, for a horror survival game (Or you can but…)!

About Disco Dave’s game icon.

Last week I received from Raluca two possible game icons that we liked, and we believed that could work for Disco Dave. Then I started thinking how to test which one would be more suitable for the game.

I shared them in the following format (below image) to three different Facebook groups. One of them was about indie games, and the other two were about design, and UI/UX (1, 2, 3).

disco dave mobile indie game

Disco Dave’s possible icons

An important note here. I shared the image without any other visual reference to the game (screenshots / animations / video). There was just the image above and the name of the game.

My hopes were that, amongst the people that would comment, -if any-, there would be some indication of what is the first thing that they thought about just by looking at the icons. Fortunately, my hopes were verified.

Pause.

 

Thanks to all the people that took the time to comment, me and the rest of the team greatly appreciate it.

 

Back to the subject now.

The verdict was clear. “If it’s about dancing go with the icon A. If it’s about DJ’ing go with icon B”. Next day I congratulated Raluca for the icon design! The original icon concept can communicate what our game is about! I call that success. At least for the first step.

But is that conclusion important?

Let’s try to create a hypothetical scenario where both icons A and B are incredibly attractive and they alone manage to get a very high CTRs’ in the store listings. We can expect that the installations coming from icon A, will also convert better in the other important KPIs’ of a mobile game (eg. Retention, LTV, etc.). Because the players that installed through icon A will expect a game that has to do with the disco theme, and maybe also dancing! On the other hand, the players coming through the second icon (B), who would expect something more DJ oriented.

Now you can argue that “When you tap on a game icon there are more steps till you install the game!”. And you will be right. But the icon still remains the very first thing, your very first contact, with a game that you don’t know about. Your very first chance to capture your target audience! Then also comes the video, the screenshots and the description of your game listing. But we will talk about that in the near future.

Now it’s time to iterate and reach our game icon to perfection (noticeable, attractive, relevant), and bring this hypothetical scenario to life!

Stay tuned with us here, and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages! Soon we are going to launch a beta testing version of Disco Dave and you can join as well. You will play Disco Dave before everyone else, and give us your opinion, in order to help us make Disco Dave a great game.

Till next time!